Percy William Hay

First Name: 
Percy
Middle Name: 
William
Last Name: 
Hay
Mother's Name: 
Ethel Hay
Father's Name: 
William Hay
Date Enlisted: 
Monday, July 5, 1915
Rank at Enlistment: 
2nd Lieutenant
Rank at Discharge: 
Captain
Unit: 
4th Battalion
Company: 
D
Service: 
Infantry
Awards: 
Military Cross
British War Medal
Victory Medal
Date of Death: 
Tuesday, October 7, 1952
Place of Death: 
Wollongong
Details: 

Percy Hay was born in Mount Kembla in 1894, the eldest of 7 children, and attended the Mount Kembla school. As a young man he spent 4 years in the 37th Illawarra Infantry. On 5th July, 1915 he enlisted in the AIF as a 2nd Lieutenant and embarked on HMAT A7 Medic on 30th December, 1915 with the 12th Reinforcements 4th Battalion. He arrived in France in time for the Battle of Pozieres and as a D company officer went into battle where on 23rd July he was wounded. He received a gun shot wound to his neck and was evacuated to London for treatment. He returned to France in October 1916 and in April 1917 he was promoted to Captain.

On 17th April 1918 he was wounded in action a second time. He received a gun shot wound to his knee.

On 16th September, 1918 Captain Hay was awarded the Military Cross. The citation for his Military Cross reads as follows: "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when in command of a company. During an advance under heavy machine gun fire against a strongly entrenched enemy position, all his officers became casualties. He reorganized his company in the open , pushed on, established himself in the position and held it in the face of severe enemy opposition. The success of the operation was chiefly due to his instinctive courage and devotion".

While in England he became a music student and studied Pianoforte Playing at the London College of Music and the Victoria College of Music London. In 1918 he married, where his wife and child accompanied him back to Australia in March 1920, he was officially discharged from service on 26th April, 1920. They had several more children on his return. 

When back in Australia he continued his pre war profession in mining, eventually becoming the first native of NSW to secure the position of Chief Inspector of Mines.

Sources: 
NAA: B2455; HAY P W CAPTAIN (PERCY WILLIAM)

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